Speaker stands do several jobs. They hold your speakers in place, prevent them from shaking, to make them sound their best. They elevate your speakers to the proper listening height — your ear level. They allow you to place your speakers anywhere in the room (not just on a piece of furniture). And they allow you to show off your speakers for those who want to make a statement.
What to Look For
The speaker fit: The first thing we recommend doing is checking to see whether the speaker manufacturer also makes speakers stands — if they do, there's a good chance they make a stand specifically for your speakers. There's no exact size standard for a bookshelf speaker (although most are between 10" and 12" in height), so it's a great option to buy a stand specifically made for your speakers.
Weight and base: The weight and base (and material) of the speaker stand play a pivotal role in the end sound quality of your speakers. The heavier the stand and the wider the feet, the more securely it will hold each speaker. And the more secure that the stand is, the better job it will do at dampening vibrations to ensure your speakers sound their best. The downside of a heavier speaker stand, however, is that they tend to be more expensive and take up more room.
Height and listening position: You want stands that hold your speakers as close to your ear level when in listening position as possible. For example, if you're using the speakers in a home theater system where you will listen to them while sitting on a couch, you don't need stands that are as tall. But if you intend to be in a standing position while listening to them, you'll want a taller speaker stand.
Adjustability: Most speaker stands aren't adjustable and have one fixed position. This limits your ability to adjust speaker position. However, there are stands that allow you to adjust their height, the angle (either upward or downward) of the speaker or both without having to move the base of the stand.
Cable management: If you want to hide unsightly speaker wires, there are various methods of doing some. The easiest way is to get a speaker stand that has built-in cable management. Surprisingly, not every speaker stand has it.
Feet: You'll notice that underneath the base, each speaker stand will rest on one of two kinds of feet: cones or spikes. The cones are typically made of rubber and are used when the stand is resting on a hard service, like a wood or tile floor. The spikes are the best option for carpets. Many speaker stands come with both to give you the option to pick which is best for your situation.
Why You Should Trust Us
We've been writing about and reviewing audio products — including speakers, headphones, earbuds and other audio components that run the gamut from consumer to hi-fi — for near-on a decade. We also work with major brands and talk to experts within the audio industry. We've had hands-on experience with all the below speaker stands and isolation pads (as well as many others). These are our favorites.
The Speaker Stands
Output Speaker Stands
Output is a Los Angeles-based audio company that makes specialty studio gear — including some of the most gorgeous speaker stands that you can buy. They beautifully blend metal and wood, and uniquely, they are height adjustable (from 37" to 43") making them great for a dedicated hi-fi system or home theater. They are heavy (at roughly 25 pounds each) and wide at the base, making them great at sound isolation but not the easiest to fit in tight corners. They also come with their own isolation pads that you place under each speaker to further dampen vibrations. You get them with one of three wooden finishes: brown, gray or natural.
Q Acoustics 3000 Series Speaker Stands
These speaker stands were specifically designed to hold any of Acoustics's 3000 speaker range, which includes its beloved 3010i and 3020i bookshelf speakers. They are fairly heavy stands (weighing roughly 17 pounds each) that have integrated cable management and come with carpet spikes (with optional rubber caps). You can get them in either white or black to match your speakers.
Kanto SP6HD Desktop Speaker Stands
These are one of our favorite desktop stands (and are perfect for those wishing to turn their bookshelf speakers into computer speakers). Each stand is 6" high and is made of pure steel — they are surprisingly heavy for their size, weighing roughly 14 pounds each. The trunk of each stand is hollow for built-in cable management. And you can rotate the top plate to your speakers positioned perfectly. Available in white or black.
IsoAcoustics Iso-Stands (Iso-155)
IsoAcoustics is a company specializing in isolation products for speakers and studio monitors — and its Iso-Stands securely add height to your speakers while also decoupling them for your desk (and thus preventing vibrations). They come in several different sizes, but the Iso-155 are the best bet for bookshelf-sized speakers. When you buy them, they come with two different-sized tubes — either short (3) or tall (8.5") — so you can choose how high you want your speakers to rest. You can also adjust the tilt (either upward or downward, up to 6.5 degrees) to angle them just right.
The Sonos Option: Sonos One Stands
The Sonos One (or One SL or Play:1) isn't a bookshelf speaker, but it is one of most popular "bookshelf-sized" speakers out there — so it only seems right to use them here. There are numerous stand options for the One, but this Sonos-made one is a great combination of elegance, simplicity and price. And it's the ideal height for rear-channel speakers in a home theater system with either of Sonos's soundbars.
(For a slightly more refined and pricier option, check out these stands by Floyd.)
An isolation pad is a foam accessory that you place underneath the speaker to dampen vibrations and preserve its sound quality. Some speaker stands come with these kinds of isolation pads, but not every one does — so you buy one to compliment your speaker stand. If you don't want to increase the height of your speakers yet want to preserve its acoustics, you can place isolation pads between your speaker and the surface it's resting one.
Auralex Acoustics Mopad XL
These are simple yet advanced isolation pads. They're made of high density foam and come with two layers so you can adjust tilt (down, level or upwards). They're also bespoke and fairly compact, making them the perfect option to supplement your speaker stands.
Sound Addicted Isolation Pads
These are great isolation pads for people shopping on a budget. They're foam isn't quite as high-density as the above MoPad XL (above), but they work in exactly the same way. They come with two layers of foam so that they can adjust tilt (down, level or upwards) and get the perfect speaker positioning.
These Iso-Pucks are a slightly more expensive proposition than standard isolation pads, but they're more bespoke. The little isolation pucks sit under your speakers (or any of your other hi-fi components) to soak up vibrations, and they're easier to conceal. We recommend four of these pucks per speaker, which, again, can get pricey.